Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is connected to a range of symptoms, such as headaches, sensitivity to light, mood swings, memory loss and cognitive difficulties. A TBI can take away your quality of life and make it impossible to keep earning an income or take care of your kids.
But one of the most troubling symptoms often associated with TBI can take away your life. Suicide and suicidal thoughts are believed to be possible symptoms of brain trauma. Even a mild TBI like a concussion sometimes leads to suicidal ideation, suicide attempts or even death by suicide.
Military healthcare usually fails to follow up
Close medical attention is required to detect possible suicide risks. But in the military, where TBI in war zones is a huge danger, injured servicemembers usually do not get this level of care. A report by the Department of Defense Inspector General states that just 41 percent of military patients diagnosed with a mild TBI get a follow-up appointment scheduled within 72 hours of diagnosis, and just 33 percent actually get that follow-up checkup.
This lack of follow-up, along with inadequate screening at the initial appointment, is a factor in the military’s suicide problem, according to The Hill.
Always a tragedy
Of course, suicide is a tragedy whether the victim is an active-duty servicemember, a veteran or a civilian. The devastation it causes the family cannot be overstated. Even if the vast majority of TBI patients never attempt suicide, the mere possibility is serious enough to require close attention from doctors.
Every brain injury is different. They each lead to their own constellation of symptoms, and every patient reacts differently. But any TBI resulting from another party’s negligence, such as in a car accident, entitles the victim to compensation for their injuries under Alabama law.